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Collaborating on a Technical Testing Juice

#1

Looking for ideas on a good juice for comparing atomisers in technical vape reviews by fixing the juice as a variable - useful for cross reviewer comparisons, and panel reviews. This one has been used by AussieGeekVaper to do annual RTA showdowns with a panel of reviewers (note: this is an experimental idea in all senses, and part of the fun will be for people to try the outcome and see if it does produce more contrasting outcomes in different atties than testing on favourite juices)

The intention is to create a technical testing juice, not an everyday vape, that will draw out where a device is muting or peaking on certain flavour profiles, so the focus is on commonly used flavour classes like fruits, bakery and dairy, all in the one vape. DX is used because bakeries and creams often contain potentially undesirable amounts of diacetyl, and if you use this for testing, you are probably going to vape a lot of it. In my experience the DX versions are weird until steeped for at least a month, but then become good. Even better at 2 months, so I recommend keeping a stash of this steeped.

Definitely not wedded to using DX as I realise most people seem to take a dim view of DX (even though with enough steep time they are pretty decent) and dont seem to care about the diacetyl levels - but prefer to minimise them. Not wedded to anything about this really, just opening up for discussion and giving an already used example. But it would be nice to get some kind of agreement so that a number of vape reviewers could in theory mix this up and use it as one of the juices they use as a reference point. The aim is not great flavour, but potential for contrasting outcomes when used in devices that perform differently!

Any and all thoughts appreciated.

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#2

I like this idea! I can’t think of too much I’d say to change with the general concept, but I’d switch out the Strawberry for another fruit. I only say this because of the Strawberry Blindness phenomenon. I’ve never experienced this, but have seen many people claim to be unable to taste Strawberries of any kind in vapor form. It’s evidently a “thing.”

I’d go with a Berry combo like Raspberry + Blueberry, keep the Apple.

My only other suggestion would be to find the best % for each flavor instead of putting each at 3.33.

The idea that doing that puts each flavor at an equal strength in the mix is incorrect, imho. If, that was the idea…

I’d suggest testing each of the flavors (which is more work than I’d be willing to do myself) from low to high % and rate the steeped results something like low-middle-high flavor results. Then place them all at their middle effectiveness %.

That sounds like a lot of work that will take a long time, though… Just my way of saying that 3.33% might be light flavoring for one flavor and over-flavored for another.

Interested to read how this turns out for you!

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#3

And…Welcome to the forums!

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#4

Neet idea. Welcome to ELR. I’m interested and I’ll watch this thread but I would be a poor candidate for a colab. Juices taste different to me every day. Today’s amazing vape may taste like cardboard tomorrow.

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#5

XD thanks for your awesome reply!
I have not heard of strawberry blindness hahaha. What about Razzleberry instead of strawberry?
No, the flavours certainly dont have equal strength, the bakeries tend to dominate, but it was an arbitrary decision at the time - really a starting point. In the 25 or so tanks I have tested this in, only a couple of exceptional tanks have really revealed the more complex fruit flavours, particularly the deeper notes of the strawberry, which helped them stand out. In some ways, this is the intended outcome, in other ways, it probably is masking the performance of some tanks where they dont reach the threshold on that level of that flavour.
Perhaps for my next mix I will use more dairy and fruit and less bakery, and substitute strawberry for raspberry, but it wouldnt be a TFA raspberry (I dont know of a good one they offer).

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#6

Thanks! It seems to be quite a welcoming place.

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#7

Hahaha, I think we all experience this to a greater or lesser extent. Remember the intention here is to directly compare across tanks in a single session, when we do vape reviews i.e. fix the juice variable in a direct comparison but using a juice that can be expected to display very different characteristics in different devices. So the vapers tongue issue should be less of a problem, as long as that doesnt change puff to puff.
Thanks for your reply, and if you or anyone you know would like to comment on likely candidates for flavour profiling/contrast, please come back!

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#8

So they all have to be TFA?

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#9

If I had to rank the average flavour profile of the current mix across the scores of devices I have tested it in, I would say it tops out on graham cracker, with waffle sliding in on its coat tails, then apple, strawberry aroma/sweet (but not tang), then cream, and milk last, and the tang aspect of the strawberry ripe dead last - only came out on horus and kylin mini. So next round will reduce the bakery and up the dairy I reckon.

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#10

Thanks for your reply! No, not at all, its just what I chose to run with as a starting point as I have the largest volumes of those on my shelf in the last 12 months, but for this to be an effective collaboration it has to be open to any flavour.
For the raspberry suggestion, I really like the Purilum raspberry for example, it tastes just like red frog sweets, but could be too dominating I suppose, and you would lose the apple perhaps?

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#11

Sorry Letitia, I should say also that one of the main reasons I was using TFA is that they are the only brand I am aware of that does DX versions of the bakery and creams, but I am not super knowledgeable about this. And again, for collaboration purposes, I suspect I am a minority that worries about this, so I would be very open to ditching DX/TFA/PA in favour of something more widely accepted of course.

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#12

I love Purilum raspberry as well but only use it as the lone berry with creams; it does overwhelm all other flavors with a steep. I like raspberry malina INW.0.3% + shisha raspberry INW 1.5%. Raspberry beryl FA at 2.5-3% is nice for a single raspberry in a mix. Forest fruit FA 2% or bumble berry WF 2% might be good options as well.

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#13

Letitia, that is super helpful input, and I will refer my colleagues working on this who are not in this forum to your suggestions, thank you!

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#14

You’re likely to wake up to at least 20 different opinions. These are just my preferences for berries in a mix. Hope you all find what works for you as a team.

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#15

I do something kind of similar to this that might help, although I do it to find out what profile an atty “likes”. I have one recipe each of a fruit & cream, a custard, and a bakery base that are not super complex, but still have layers. I know these recipes very well so if I vape it in a new atty and it doesn’t taste right I immediately notice.

Sometimes an atty will work really well for fruit flavors, but bakeries and custards fall flat, and vice versa, And I don’t know if creating a single recipe with multiple profiles will really tell you anything useful about a new atty. it would be logical to think that if you had a juice that was a bakery/cream/custard/fruit mashup then you would be able to tell if one of the flavors was falling off in one atty versus another, but it is likely that one note being muted could throw off your perception of the other flavors in the mix as well.

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#16

Exactly! While the concept has it weaknesses, it would be one of a range of flavours tested, but the idea here is to create the flavour equivalent of a “test pattern” used to check display output accuracy, and highlight when as you say something is being muted by a device. Sounds like your categories are similar, (fruit, dairy and bakery) but separately. Would you like to make a suggestion for a Testey Juice combo mix for us to try based on your experience?

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#17

I had to edit through your post to extract the GOAL you are trying to get to. If I have it correct: is this it?:

a (…) juice for comparing atomizers in technical vape reviews by fixing the juice as a variable - (so as) to create a technical testing juice, not an everyday vape, that will draw out where a device is muting or peaking on certain flavour profiles (…)

if that is correct then you have not fully stated or taken into account all factors affecting outcomes when the tests are performed. In this case there are TWO factors at work: FIRST is the Juice, SECOND is the non calibrated complex system we will call the human tester.

Sometimes a little thought example helps to explain the problem:

I want to test my loud speaker on my HiFi Sound System, so I will play a 440 Hz tone though it and listen with my ears to see if there are hardware issues affecting how it is correctly outputted as 440Hz.

The problems with that are obvious. First you must assure that you have a source for the sound that is exactly440Hz (this is the purpose of your OP) and Second you must assure that you have a test device that is also calibrated and can make a correct assertions about what it hears (in this case what it tastes)

You are trying to put together a calibrated tester juice (the equivalent of the 440Hz tone) but have ignored the importance of a calibrated human that will test your samples.

Good luck on finding a calibrated human tester. This exact issue is common to other human taste test areas of importance. For example, Coffee Cupping, Perfume manufacturing. Rather than ‘roill you own’ I suggest you look at those industries for examples of how this problem is commonly approached

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#18

Pretty sure they are trying to accomplish this by using a team of testers. Each member will contribute their impressions then the team will mention the impressions or come to a consensus on who the atty will best suit. Of course I could be off base here.

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#19

As for flavor percentage, I like to leverage the power inherent in this wonderful e-Liquid Recipes tool. When creating a new recipie from scratch, just add the flavors you intend to use. The default percentage is an average taken from all single recipes submitted for that particular flavor and manufacturer. This gives a collective starting point. Of course the flavor percentage of each flavor will be too high if mixing multiple flavors in one recipie. ie. Who vapes a recipe with 28% total flavor? Make the recipe with the default values then edit the recipe to reduce the total flavor percentage to a reasonable percentage for vaping. The tool will retain the default ratio between the different flavors. I like to stay between 5% and ~15%, usually starting at 10%. I then tweak one flavor at a time if I feel I need to based on my own personal taste but for you exercise it may be beneficial to retain the default ratios and just be sure to choose flavors that don’t wash each other out. I have been thinking about posting the said method I have been using for awhile now. I have been curious what others think about it. Please let me know what you think.

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#20

I don’t worry about or put limits on total flavor % much. Between the brands strength differences my flavor percentages will run anywhere from 3-20%. It wasn’t unusual when I quit using commercial juices for a mix to push 30%. About 3x a year I have to lower some flavors but not all. My first mix that came in under 5% actually made me nervous.

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